During his inaugural State of the Nation address, President Ramaphosa announced that the government will accelerate the land distribution programme in order to redress grave historical injustices, include more producers into the agricultural sector and make more land available for cultivation. This would include the implementation of expropriation of land without compensation.

The reaction to this announcement has been varied and at times explosive. Outpourings of jubilation from those who have experienced the pain of landlessness and forced removals. Anger and panic from those who fear their land being taken away in mass, state-sanctioned land grabs. Predictions of economic collapse and genocide are not far from the lips of many white commentators. The world has noticed, African-Americans and Native Americans watch eager for insight into their own discussions of reparations. Australian politicians have made offers of expedited immigration for the supposedly beleaguered Afrikaans farmers.

How do we, as the church, respond? Does our theology offer any tools or insights as a framework and a guide to navigating this crucial issue? Have we as the church reacted in ways uniquely framed by our faith or merely as mirrors of the competing ideologies of the world?

The aim of this forum is to discuss this important issue biblically and contextually. To reflect on our history, our fears and ideologies and our current socio-economic and political context through the lens of cross-centred, contextual theology. To apply gospel thinking and practice to this crucial issue which is currently further exposing the divided state of the church along racial and economic lines

The forum will take the format of a panel who each giving a short piece of input (+/-10 mins) and then engage in an extensive time of discussion and answering of questions with other participants. The panel will consist of 3-4 voices each bringing a unique contextual voice to the discussion; including a black voice exploring the reality and the legacy of black landlessness from a Christian perspective; a Coloured voice exploring the legacy of forced removals in Cape Town as well as the legacy and the role of the Church and a white voice exploring the fear and anger of white Christians when talking about land. Panelists to be confirmed shortly

Cost: R100 (includes lunch)

Venue: St Thomas’s Church, 165 Heideveld Road, Heideveld

Time: 9:30-12:30

Purchase your tickets here